In Week 11 both Bay Area teams showed why their records accurately reflect their respective levels of success as the Niners demolished Chicago and the Raiders were steamrolled by New Orleans. However, both teams had tight ends who enjoyed success in their respective games.
This week, the Niners and Raiders had very different experiences in their games as the Raiders totally fell apart in the second half against Drew Brees and the Saints, while the Niners feasted upon Bears backup quarterback Jason Campbell and a miserable Bears offensive line to record one of the best fantasy defensive performances of the season. Let's cut to the chase here.
STUD: Vernon Davis. He was a target of Colin Kaepernick all night long, catching six passes for 82 yards and Kaep's first passing touchdown of the game. He consistently burned the Bears' coverage and made their defensive scheme look silly and inadequate. He led the Niners in both receptions and receiving yards.
STUD: Colin Kaepernick. If you were worried about his matchup coming into the game, you had every right to be as the Bears defense is one of the, if not the best in the game particularly when taking forced turnovers into account. However, Kaepernick was incredibly accurate with his throws and used his mobility to frequently escape the pocket and elude the Bears' excellent pass rushers. He totally stymied the Bears with his decision making and huge arm on deep throws. His running ability caused Chicago to keep more defenders in the box, which left his receivers for the most part in single coverage. Kaepernick shredded the Bears defense for 243 yards passing on only 23 attempts with two touchdowns and no turnovers whatsoever. He appears ready for the starting gig, though Alex Smith is still very good and not too expensive. The Niners will have to make a clear decision in the not too distant future.
STUD: Niners defense. Not only did they intercept Jason Campbell twice, they recorded five sacks and a safety while only allowing seven points. There is not much more a defensive unit can do in fantasy than what the Niners did on Monday night. Aldon Smith recorded 4.5 sacks by himself with Justin Smith sharing a sack. They completely exposed the Bears offensive line and imposed their will on the game, totally controlling the line of scrimmage and taking away any chance Chicago had of keeping the game close.
STUD: Brandon Myers. Oakland had a really rough day, but Myers was a bright spot. He was targeted in the end zone at least twice, scoring once. The other pass thrown his way was intercepted. He led Oakland in receptions with six and is becoming a more reliable red zone target. One thing the Raider pass attack has lacked this year has been consistent tight end play but Myers is stepping up his game. He's probably not a long term answer but he can be a stopgap for the Raiders and for fantasy teams.
And now for the failures of the week.
DUD: Denarius Moore. Carson Palmer tried to throw the deep ball all day but almost never connected. Moore only ended up hauling in one pass for nine yards, ending a streak of solid weeks for him. He's still a good play, but Palmer was too erratic against the Saints.
DUD: Frank Gore. Now this isn't really fair because Gore played well, but he didn't score and only gained 78 rushing yards. It's below his standard that he has set for himself and didn't really do his fantasy owners any favors. This game belonged to Colin Kaepernick and Gore just got the tough, necessary yards.